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    His breathing was still heavy, even though it had been at least five minutes since they’d finished.

    This didn’t surprise the slender twenty year old lying in bed next to him, her long black hair a ruffled mess.

    She was good at what she did. Even though she’d been distracted the entire time, even though her thoughts had been elsewhere—specifically, with Her—she’d still put on a rather fantastic show, accompanied by the… admittedly his not very appealing symphony of pleasured groans.

    As she lay there, counting the seconds until the clock on the wall struck five, she couldn’t help but wish the setting was different. A nicer place, maybe, rather than a rundown, sketchy hotel where the room had a peephole she’d covered with a cloth. She hated this place. The Tilted Inn. As awful as its name, but the only place that let her do her work with some modicum of safety.

    Ten, she thought, every second drumming to the beat of her heart. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six.

    Five.

    Four.

    Three.

    Two.

    She made a show out of lazily sitting up and stretching her arms. She was in a hurry, oh yes, but to show it to the client would be quite the faux pas.

    “Alright, darlin’,” she said, slipping out from under the covers. “I hope you had a real good time.”

    The man grunted, turning around to look at her, his eyes drifting over her body as she put on her tight, small dress.

    “It’s five,” he said. “Stay.”

    She smiled pleasantly. “Can’t do that. I did tell you I had somewhere to be, didn’t I, now?”

    “I can pay more,” he insisted, and his lips curled into a lazy, sloppy grin. “Buy yourself a new dress. A pretty little thing even tighter than the one you have now. Something even more fun to rip off.”

    For a split second, she felt quite irritated. She really didn’t have time for this.

    “Maybe next time. I really got to go now.” She turned to him and outstretched her hand. “Usual rate, please.”

    “Where are you going, anyway?” he continued, obstinate. “What’s he paying you? I’ll pay better. You know I’m good for it.”

    “Payment,” she said, resisting the urge to snap. The smile was gone. “Please. I’m late.

    She held his gaze, on one hand annoyed, and on the other slightly concerned, but she felt her entire body relax when he sighed and gestured to his pants on the floor.

    “Back pocket. Take it.”

    Her pleasant smile returned. “Thank you.”

    He watched her as she searched his pants.

    “How many more are you seeing tonight?” he asked. “Got a long day, don’t’cha?”

    She giggled. “Now, now, darlin’,” she said, retrieving the money and stashing it in her little purse. “A lady never tells. Now, I’ll be seeing you again, won’t I?” she asked, backtracking towards the door. “Same time next week?”

    “Dunno,” he said. “You seem pretty busy nowadays. Don’t know if you need my business. Maybe I oughta take it elsewhere.”

    Gods, she thought, apprehension clawing at her heart.

    Why were they like this?

    She had to go. She didn’t have time to stroke anything else, let alone this man’s ego. But she couldn’t risk losing him, either.

    “Oh, is that so?” she said, teasingly. “You mean that, do you?”

    After a moment, he relented. “Nah. Next week same time is fine. But you better not have any other appointments.”

    “‘Course not, darlin’. See you next week!”

    And with that, she left the room, closed the door and pressed her forehead against it.

    “Lord.”

    No sooner had she said that, she rushed off into the hallway, taking a key out of her bag and quickly opening a different hotel room door. She stepped in, making sure to lock the door, and then turned towards the bed where all her things were spread out.

    Her brilliant blue eyes darted towards the clock on the wall.

    5:10.

    She was late. She was so, so late, and she wanted to die.

    She rushed through the motions as fast as she could: getting out of that silly, skimpy dress; taking a shower; washing her hair; combing her hair; and reapplying her makeup.

    It was 5:30 by the time she was done, and all that was left was her outfit.

    She rushed to the closet and took out a very simple, elegant blue summer dress that had cost so much, she’d almost cried when she bought it. But it was worth it. It was worth it for Her.

    As soon as she’d put on the dress, she rushed out of the room, locking the door and then practically tripping over herself going down to the lobby.

    She was almost out the door when a man cleared his throat, and she refrained from slamming her hand against the door in exasperation.

    She turned towards the plump man behind the counter, his eyes set on a magazine.

    “Derby, damn it, I’m late. Can’t you see?!”

    He didn’t bother looking up. He simply extended his hand towards her.

    Derby,” she hissed. “I bring you business. I bring you so much goddamn business.”

    “And you want me to keep the dogs away, don’t’cha? So pay up.”

    “I need this money.”

    “Then you can be like the other girls and pay me in a different way,” he said, and though he did not look up, my, did he smile. “I’m here all night, doll, and we got plenty of empty rooms.”

    One day, she thought to herself as she stomped towards him and slammed some bills onto his grubby hand, one day, I’m going to change this.

    It was fifteen past six by the time she’d arrived at the amphitheatre in the Heart District. A large fair surrounded the place, filled to the brim with the posh students of the local private college. Large banners hung from poles, all inviting passersby to come see the Heart’s Haven University Magic Showcase – 5:45p.m. to 8:00p.m.

    She pushed her way through the crowds, her heart aching in her chest, until finally she reached the audience seating. The first thing she did was scan the stage, desperately hoping not to see anyone she recognized. Fortunately, that was the case. She saw some pompous looking teachers clapping politely as a young man levitated a table in the air.

    She then busied herself with looking through the audience, until finally she spotted who she was looking for. After a string of “excuse me”s, she reached an empty seat somewhere near the middle.

    “I made it!” she said, sitting down and turning to the seventeen year old woman besides her. “Please tell me I made it.”

    “Barely,” replied the younger woman, her long blue hair tied up in tresses. Large sunglasses shielded her eyes, which were unnecessary considering she was wearing a ridiculously large black sun hat. “I was considering leaving. I’ve seen six acts so far, and all six demonstrated spells I could do in my sleep. I thought this academy was supposed to be impressive. The only impressive thing here is how amateur it all is.”

    “That’s not nice, Lulu,” said Sapphire Snow.

    “I am not a nice person, Sapphire,” said my dearest Lady Luna, decades before she was known as such.

    “It’s almost time for our intermission!” declared one of the teachers as he took center stage. Behind him, three pairs of students struggled to carry three large archery targets. “But before we go, Heart’s Haven very own student president will honor us all with her first feat of the night!”

    A hush fell over the crowd, which Luna wasted no time rolling her eyes at. Sapphire didn’t notice, obviously, too busy waiting for the moment she’d been waiting for all day, all week, all month.

    “Please welcome Celestia Nova!”

    And there she was, the twenty-one year old magic beauty, strolling onto stage with a smile that shone like the sun. A quiver of arrows hung from her back, doubtless meant for the long and elegant white bow floating behind her.

    How people clapped! Clapped and clapped, and Sapphire clapped with them, watching with starry eyes as Celestia took her place on one side of the stage, opposite of the three targets placed on the other side.

    “Today,” said the teacher, “Celestia will be demonstrating the first fire spell of the night, in the form of three fire arrows!” She turned to Celestia, whose outstretched hand gripped the bow. “Are you ready?”

    “But, of course, Miss Heart,” she said, politely before giggling sweetly. “A lady is always ready to impress!”

    “A lady is always ready to impress,” mocked Luna, earning herself an elbow jab from Sapphire Snow.

    Celestia delicately withdrew a white arrow from her quiver, placed it on a bow, and allowed herself a laugh when several of her friends whooped at her. For a moment, it seemed like she was about to take aim and shoot the first arrow, and yet…

    And yet, instead, she furtively looked around, her eyes scanning the audience until finally they landed not on her younger sister, but on Sapphire Snow.

    For a moment, the world around them blurred out, the two women holding each other’s gaze until finally Sapphire gently waved at her, her cheeks red.

    “Hi,” she whispered, her smile as full as her heart, and when Celestia smiled back, Sapphire’s smile somehow grew even more.

    Celestia’s gaze returned to her target, and again, it seemed like she was about to aim and shoot, except instead her hands alighted with magic and two extra arrows shot up from the quiver and into her hand.

    Gasps rang out through the crowd.

    “Is she going to shoot all three at the same time?!” Sapphire gasped, completely ignoring Luna’s loud groan.

    And indeed she was, holding her bow horizontally and deftly spreading out the arrows so each would aim at a different target. A second went by, her hands alighted with magic, and before everyone’s delighted eyes, all three arrows burst into crimson flames.

    And then…

    And then, she glanced ever so briefly towards the delighted Sapphire, and suddenly the flames turned sapphire blue.

    “Goodness!” exclaimed Miss Heart, talking over the whooping. “A firefrost spell!”

    “I did say,” said the future grand Lady herself, “I’m always ready to impress.”

    Fwoosh!

    Three physical arrows shot out in the air, each simultaneously landing right in the middle of its respective target, completely freezing it over. There was a moment of silence that was immediately broken by the cheering of her peers as they all stood up, whooping and clapping.

    Only two people remained sitting.

    One, because she’d be damned if she’d contribute towards inflating her sister’s ego.

    The other, well…

    Because she’d been shot, too, with a fourth arrow that pierced her heart. Shot again and again and again when a grinning Celestia turned towards her, locked eyes with Sapphire Snow, and then with all the grace of a lady, curtsied.

    I said it once, did I not?

    Twilight Sparkle was just like her teacher, in more ways than one.

    Dear friend!

    Here we are, once again, sitting together for one last cup of tea.

    One last story, whose length we do not know, but whose ending we do.

    But it’s not the destination that counts, now is it? No, no. It’s the journey.

    This is the story of two romances, both fiery and passionate, and both ending with a visit from you, my dearest friend.

    Now, I don’t presume to be my dearest Lady Luna, but as I sit before you, bargaining for my life, I can’t help but think of her usual speech before every show.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the third call.

    Intermission is over and the show, my dear, must go on.

    Please take a seat and relax in your front row seats as the Sapphire Carousel proudly presents the next thrilling act of its grandest and final show…

    Sapphire Eyes.

    You can support me on

    4 Comments

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    1. Jadesaturn
      Oct 2, 22 at 9:21 am

      Not sure why I got pinged on this being updated, but I loved re-reading it!

      1. @JadesaturnOct 2, 22 at 9:29 am

        Ahaha, my mistake. I fixed the chapter icon and forgot to turn off the mailer. Normally this cannot happen but since the system was broken for so long, it did not register that it should have technically already been sent.

    2. ShadowL Drago
      Jul 7, 22 at 1:59 pm

      I forgot how rich this chapter was in implications.

    3. Pinky102368
      Feb 7, 22 at 12:30 pm

      Claps hands together

      I’m so excited to see where the sequel goes! I wonder if the person Rarity is talking to in the afterlife(?) is an important character we know or not…or if it’s just a personification of death and nothing more.